Maintenance of community water sources
Any water source is a valuable property of the entire village.
Therefore, it is everyone's responsibility to guard the water source from
Taps and water pumps
- Keep the tap and pump and the surrounding area clean.
- Make a drain to lead excess water away from the tap or pump.
- Excess water can be used to water a field or kitchen garden,
or can be drained into a soakage pit. This prevents the surrounding area from
- Clean drains regularly.
- Repair cracks in concrete. Repair cracked or damaged pipes
- Protect the water source, piping system, and storage tank from
contamination by people, animals, agricultural and industrial waste.
- Prevent children from putting their lips on the tap or pump
when drinking water.
- Bathe and wash clothes at least 15 m away from the tap or hand
- Make a fence around the tap or hand pump to keep cattle and
other animals away.
- If it is necessary to water cattle from the pump, make a
special cemented trough some distance (about 15 m) away from the pump.
- Turn off taps after use. Do not waste water.
Watering a kitchen garden.
Bathe and wash clothes at least 15 m
away from the tap or hand pump.
- Sink wells in good soil at least 15 m away from possible
sources of contamination, such as cesspools or insanitary privies.
- Fill in all hollows, rat holes, foul tanks, cesspits, etc.,
near the well.
- The site should be sufficiently high to prevent water from
flowing toward and seeping into the well.
- Provide a parapet wall around the top of the well about 1 m
high to prevent surface water from entering the well. The top of the well wall
should slope (should not be horizontal) to discourage people from sitting or
washing clothes on it, and thereby contaminating the water.
- Cut down or trim trees and vegetation close by so that leaves
and bird droppings do not fall into the well. Tree roots should not be allowed
to sprout from the lining of the well.
- Cover the well to prevent leaves and dust from blowing inside.
Prevent sparrows and pigeons from making their nests in the
lining of the well.
Provide a proper washing and bathing place at a distance from
the well and preferably at a lower level than the well so that waste water flows
away. Waste water seeping into the ground close to the well can contaminate the
- Provide a cemented area around the well at least 2 m in
diameter. Make it slope away from the well so that surface washings flow away
from the well and not into it.
- The buckets of individual users might be dirty and contaminate
the well water. So, discourage users from lowering their own buckets into the
- Attach a strong bucket with a chain or rope to the well
permanently for public use. Keep this bucket clean.
Tanks and ponds
If possible, do not use water from tanks and ponds for drinking.
Use well water instead. If you must use water from tanks or ponds, try to follow
Select sites with good surroundings with no insanitary
conditions or bore-hole latrines in the vicinity.
Ensure that banks are properly sloped and planted with grass.
The tank or pond should be ringed by an embankment to prevent
water from flowing in.
Do not allow surface drains to empty into the tank or pond.
Fence the tank or pond to keep away cattle.
Keep one tank for drinking water and another for other
activities, such as washing, bathing, and watering animals.
Draw water without going into the tank. Draw water from the
steps or by means of a hand pump.
Plant trees only at a distance so as not to attract cattle and
Remove weeds and algae regularly.
Clean the tank or pond regularly and re-excavate when dry.
This will increase its capacity as well.
Do not allow any commercial activities, such as jute steeping in
Source: National Drinking Water Mission, Government
of India, Mr. Yash Pal Bedi and Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity,